Iran is a land of contradictions and shattered preconceptions.
There is nothing further from the idea of Iran I had before visiting than Iran itself. It is a country that is extremely easy to visit, filled with nice and cheap homestays, comfortable buses and tons of things to see. But its most incredible feature (and by far) are its people – kind, gentle, helpful and, in many ways, open. When the locals take care of you, you forget time and again that you are actually visiting the “axis of evil”.
Persian cities are beautiful beyond measure. The endless bazaars, colourful mosques and palaces, water gardens, scenic deserts and on and on. Even Tehran is beautiful in its own gloomy way. Because I write these lines (with some delay as per usual) on a Nepali wi-fi, I will not upload many photos with this post. There would be too many & I have already posted hundreds on Instagram (link), where you should really check them out.
But Iran is also full of contradictions. It is a country where alcohol is strictly prohibited, yet flows in rivers at home parties. No one seriously worries about getting in trouble for it. People worry just as little about offering MDMA to unknown foreigners at said parties. With its strict prohibition on drugs, Iran is the country with biggest drug addition problem in the world. Women are veiled to show humility, yet they proudly show off their noses covered in bandages indicating plastic operations. Gay people “do not exist” / are randomly executed every now and then, yet young people claim being gay to steer clear of army duty. The government also fully sponsors gender reassignment surgeries making Iran one of the countries where they are most common. It is a land of extremely nice people, who won’t think twice before running you over with their car. And while Iranians have lots of style they also love their plastic sandals. And so on and on… it’s a country of contradictions making it all the more interesting.
So go book your flights now! Iran should be right there at the top of your bucket list.
Where to stay:
Teheran – See you in Iran hostel, Kashan – Noghli house, Isfahan – Howzak house, Yazd – Hostel Oasis.